Autobiography of a Face Short Essay - Answer Key

Lucy Grealy
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1. Describe Lucy.

Lucy is an abysmal athlete but a daredevil at any other activity in the neighborhood, regardless of the amount of danger or risk involved. She is a smart child who reads and spells better than anyone in her grade.

2. How does Lucy first feels signs of her cancer?

One day, the class is playing dodge ball. Lucy knows the ball is hers, though Joni Friedman is trying to steal it. Lucy stands her ground and when their heads collide, Lucy is sent to the ground in a wave of pain in her jaw. That night, Lucy is reminded of the pain in her jaw and tells her mother that she has a toothache.

3. What takes place the morning after the pain begins?

The next morning, she can hardly open her mouth, not from the pain but says her jaw is "stuck." Lucy is taken to the doctor, where she's told that it's probably fractured - the first of many incorrect diagnoses. The x-rays reveal it's not a broken jaw, but a cyst, and she's scheduled for surgery.

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